18 October 2009

Epidemic of Stupid

Remember this past summer, when there was the epidemic of stupid parents leaving their kids in cars during heat waves? It was like the newest fad in bad parenting. Now the trendy thing to do is kill your kid and save yourself the trouble of even having to buy a car seat.

There are two cases in the NS courts right now of couples being charged with the murder of their baby. In one case it was assault leading to death, and I don’t think they have a cause of death in the other, but the parents concealed the body for days before going to a hospital.

I can’t even bring myself to use a stern tone with my niece and nephew, so infanticide baffles me.

On a somewhat related note, it’s Conflict Resolution Day and I went to a talk by a woman who works internationally to teach kids how to get along and live with each other. And she told us how her kids went to one of those new-age feel-goodery for elementary school where they learned about “lessons in living.” She said she felt the program really did teach her kids empathy and respect, and that it wasn’t just something they used in school but didn’t take home. Then she started to tell us how her eldest son became the target of a bully when he was in high school (Grade 9 at a “normal” school). And I thought that she would tell us how they resolved this conflict, and I thought it would provide some interesting insight into stopping or preventing bullying. But no. One day the bully knocked the kid down with such force that a main artery was damaged and the boy died. This was about 20 years ago, so she was able to talk about it calmly, but I think a couple of people in the audience were crying. And she never got any resolution. The boy who killed her son was never charged, never apologised, never got counselling. It was a pretty tragic story. She was able to turn that horrible experience into something useful with her current work, but still.

I don’t remember being bullied in elementary school. The school bully was in my class, and I know that his older brother bullied my older brother, but our bully didn’t really pick on girls. It may also have helped that my best friend was his girlfriend for a few years.

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